A Design-Oriented National Endowment for the Arts
An Open Letter to the Obama Administration:
The National Endowment for the Arts
should embrace design and innovation as a means to fulfill the larger agendas and programs of the Obama Administration. The choice of the NEA Chairman is an important opportunity to shape the contribution of the NEA in coming years.
Impactful NEA initiatives already exist to support the literary and performing arts: what’s missing are solutions and innovations that could come from additional emphasis on the arts in a troubled economy, a nation struggling with environmental crisis, a country that needs its entire infrastructure rebuilt (and the resultant jobs that would come with the challenge).
These are precisely the times when a design-oriented NEA could most effectively benefit the nation with practical solutions, progressive thinking and citizen-oriented improvements affecting all aspects of civic, cultural and artistic life.
After fifteen years of polemical culture wars, the future of the National Endowment of the Arts was very much in question at the beginning of President Bush’s first term in 2002. When Bush’s first choice died only a week into his NEA term, the new President chose the poet Dana Gioia
to lead the agency...
The Obama Victory
"Obama Dog Team 2008," photograph by Manuel Guerzoni, Miami, FL
Last night was breathtaking. I kept thinking in sentences that began, "In my lifetime..."
"Yes we can." This simple refrain, repeated for emphasis, is the basis for hope and, excuse my stating of the obvious, for change. In my lifetime,
America has not seen such energy focused on the future. The thousands in Grant Park in Chicago were excited despite difficult times...